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Do you ever feel bad about putting someone in jail?

Ever have anybody who doesnt seem like a bad person get serious time, for something that seems small and feel bad for them afterwards? I realize this is part of the job, just wondering.


  • I had a judge one time who thew the book at a traffic violator...I felt bad about writing him after that. Everybody else was getting a $50 to $75 fine...he got a $350 fine, traffic school and suspended jail time.

    I never did figure out why the judge did that. The guy wasn't obnoxious or anything. He didn't have a horrible record. I can only suspect that the judge knew him, or had previous dealings with him that didn't show on a rap sheet.
  • Well sure..But I always keep in mind its not my fault,,they put themselves in the that spot..
  • The only arrest I really ever felt bad about was the time I was sent to a supermarket in regard to a shoplifter being detained by the management. Our department's policy required arrest if the business wanted to file charges. When I arrived, I found an elderly, grand-motherly type who, when I interviewed her, convinced me that she had slipped the item into her pocket because she had her hands too full, then had accidently forgotten to pay for it along with her other items. I'd been on the job for a few years by then, and was usually immune to perps' lies about the circumstances, but this instance was the only one in which I actually believed the woman. However, because of the statute and departmental policy, I had no choice.
  • Sure i have...I mean in a small town, you get to know people and their circumstances. Still, have to do a job. I have spoken with the prosecutor or the judge on a few occasions though.
  • I have been conflicted.
  • NYPD is a revenue generating department the days of doing actual police work is long and gone. Any violation arrest i make I mostly feel like shit for. Its all about the mighty # for NYC. Its a contest to see how many cops each command gets to take off patrol to process nonsense collars. Where the warrant is for stupidness for like not paying a ticket for a "open container of alcohol in public" or "public urination" less then 10% of the time the defendant is wanted on something good.
  • Only once. Had to arrest a woman once for assault with the DV enhancement - the stories matched completely, and the injury was a scratch to the male's face. It was totally accidental, and I understood the people involved. However, under the law, I had absolutely no choice. I made it as low key as I could. As I knew it would be, it was thrown out by the judge the next day. The FTAs, maybe. The actual ones that commit the crime (especially child abuse or exploitation), it's an absolute pleasure to lock their sorry butts up.
  • @Lieutenant26, that sounds like a d-bag supermarket manager. He should have given the lady the opportunity to pay for the forgotten item. It's an honest mistake. I've done it myself, missed something in the cart or on the bottom and had to go back in and pay for it. Luckily it was at Walmart so I used the self checkout and didn't have to tell anyone and embarrass myself lol
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